Books

Lily’s Literature #12


I figured I should start numbering these posts just in case anyone (me) wants to easily find them in an organized manner. Compared to the last Lily’s Lit I produced, the books I talk about today are much heartier and substantial. BUT, they all have female leads. And in Lily’s Lit #11 all three of the books reviewed were written by men. What can I say? I like to switch it up.

In high school, my smart friend Sarah (In my head I would label my friends in either the smart or dumb category. I, myself, fell somewhere closer to the dumb category, occasionally surprising myself with bursts of smart.) handed me the book Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

“Read this” she said.

“Uhh I don’t know if I can handle it” I replied, studying it’s thickness and minuscule print.

It sat in my locker until I handed it back to her on one of the last weeks of school. Never even tried it. Years later I kept seeing the Outlander series sitting impressively in book stores, wanting to try it again but unsure if I would enjoy it. When I was at my friend’s house a month or so ago (She is also smart, but I’ve realized that everyone is smart in their own way. I don’t label people smart or dumb anymore.) I saw her stack of Gabaldon books and asked if I could borrow Outlander. She handed it over and guaranteed that I would like it very much. And I did. outlander

The story starts off in Scotland in 1945. Claire Randall is with her husband on a bit of a second honeymoon/research trip when she happens upon some standing stones (think mini Stonehenge). When she touches the magic of the stones, she travels back in time, to the Scottish highlands. A simpler time, yet also a time of danger. In an exciting whirlwind she ends up beginning a new life and quietly adapts to her surroundings. Adventure and sexiness ensues.

I really didn’t think I would like this book as much as I did. The story is very far fetched, but it struck a chord with me. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

After that I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Narrated by the voice of death, this story looks at a young girl’s life during the horror of Nazi Germany. In a small German town the girl, Liesel, is fostered by a man and a woman who teach her how to read and the beauty of words.The_Book_Thief_by_Markus_Zusak_book_cover

I liked this story because it reminded me that not all Germans approved of the Nazi party and that Germany was not beautiful and safe for those who weren’t Jewish. Zusak’s storytelling style was very simple, which I enjoyed. It was easy to follow, yet still very powerful. I hope to see The Book Thief movie soon so I can compare and contrast. One of my favorite hobbies–comparing and contrasting.

Just yesterday I finished a memoir called A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout. I think this one will stay with me for a very long time. It’s the kind of story that puts life into perspective. It makes you think, well I guess my life is pretty goodhouse

Amanda Lindhout recounts her amazing story of travel and triumph after she was captured by a group of Somali masked men. She and her travel companion, Nigel, had previously done some venturing together and had figured that going to Somalia, a war ridden, terrorist filled, Islamic country would be a good spot to start their journalistic/photographic endeavors. They were both seasoned travelers, yet nothing could prepare them for the hardships (putting it lightly) they would have to endure.

Part of me loves Amanda, her honesty, her strength and her power to overcome adversity. And part of me thinks that she had tempted fate one too many times and wasn’t logical about the dangers that surrounded her. Either way, hers is a fantastic story that is definitely worth reading. And she’s Canadian ;)

Have you read any books lately?

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23 thoughts on “Lily’s Literature #12

  1. unfetteredbs says:

    I just finished ” This is Where I leave You” by Jonathan Tropper. Entertaining and a rather reflective look at dysfunctional family. Let’s face it we all are a part of one.
    Jason Bateman is being cast as the lead character in the movie of this book. I may have to break my rule about seeing the movie of a book I loved.

    You picked good books. Serious topics the last two. I tend to shy away from those, so I have alot of respect for you reading those.

    • That’s so funny because I recently saw “This Is Where I Leave You” mentioned on a book list somewhere. I’ll have to check that one out. I do love Jason Bateman.

      Thank ya. My next three are definitely going to be a little lighter. I can only handle so much heaviness. But they were good stories! Thanks Audra! Glad someone respects me ;)

  2. I read Outlander when it first came out. A friend had sent me the UK copy which was title Crossstitch. Go figure. What amazed me back then–and now–was that her early books were done without the full glory of a PC. I seem to remember she was a research librarian. All of her books are beautifully researched and the dialects are great. Add to it a wonderful storyline, and it’s a great series. I’m glad you read this! I offered it to Anne, and she rejected it after four chapters.

    I may have to trade her in.

    The Book Thief is one we both agreed was smashing, and, we both have our idea of who married whom.

    Great reviews.

    • Yeah I really liked the dialects in Outlander! I forgot to mention that! It definitely made the story come alive more. Have you read any more of the series? I don’t think I can handle 6 or 7 books of that same length so I had my friend ruin everything and tell me what happens. Pretty juicy. I still might read them though.

      Who married whom? What do you mean? Like Liesel marrying Max? I’m confused…

      Thanks!

      • Yes, Liesel and Max! I didn’t name names in case someone hadn’t read the book yet.

        I did read three more–oy! Exhausting! Problem is, it’s been so long since I read one, I can’t remember it all and dread having to go through them again. I may just give up and have you ruin them for me.

      • I feel like Max was too old for Liesel! But maybe they got married because they could bond about everything?

        Three more?! Geeze. Yeah my friend told me about a lot of stuff that happens but it seems so confusing so I’ll probably end up reading them. I’ll gladly ruin them for you.

    • The Book Thief is pretty sweet and touching, not gonna lie. I don’t understand how Tipsy Lit works! I’ve been over there a couple of times but couldn’t figure it out. IDk I’m dumb.
      I’ll check out Breakfast For Champions though! :D

  3. I finished Winter’s Tale last night, and yes, I wanted to finish it before the film comes out next week. All I can say about the film version is: how? It’s one of the craziest, magical, philosophical books I’ve ever read. Not an easy read by any means, and 750 dense pages, but it’s one of a kind and I loved it. Written in 1984 but I never heard of it before my wife gave it to me for Christmas.

    • A dense 750 pages would take me forever to read. Good work! I really want to see that movie. It looks so romantic! I hadn’t heard of it either so I guess we’re equally as clueless.
      I’m surprised that they’re making it into a movie if it’s that long. Outlander is being made into a STARZ mini series and it’s around 800 pages so I’m okay with that. But STARZ ruined Pillars of the Earth for me so I have trouble trusting it. Winter’s Tale will probably be best in movie form, is what I’m trying to say. (And I like typing “STARZ”)

  4. I just finished the sequel to “The Shining”, “Doctor Sleep” by that Stephen King guy. (Incidentally, I refuse to believe that King does not have a ghost writer or an assistant of some sort. No one is that productive. No one human,a t least.)

    King takes a LONG TIME to get to the point, but when he does, he delivers. And how.

    A great read. One of his best, perhaps.

    • I’ve heard some good things about that one! I’ve actually never read a Stephen King novel, but I feel like I would like them. But I’ve ruined most of them by seeing their movie renditions.
      I’ll check it out! Thanks Hook!

  5. Really enjoyed The Book Thief… and while I normally like watching movies adapted from books, for comparing and contrasting purposes of course, I’m not all that excited about this movie… I’m not sure why that is. It just seems wrong to turn this story into a film. I feel like I might end up watching Schindler’s List again… and while it is an excellent film, it certainly isn’t something you enjoy watching, right?

    • I know what you mean. I think it would be hard to translate all of the special moments and nuances of the book. But I can’t help liking the feeling of watching a book come to life. So I’ll probably give it a try. You should check out the movie Boy In The Striped Pajamas if you wanna watch a different Nazi movie. I recently watched it and really liked it. It’s also a book too :)

  6. I’m reading The Book Thief right now. Its really good. I do like it for the same reasons you do. The whole using the voice of death works really well and its making me want to check out the movie. Only less than 200 pages to go before I’m done :) Lovely post!

  7. Loved “The Book Thief.” “House in the Sky” sounds really good–I’ll add it to my list.

    I’m reading “Caught” by Lisa Moore right now, she writes beautifully and the story is really intriguing too.

    • Yeah The Book Thief was great! Definitely check out A House in the Sky. It’s a really incredible story.

      I’ve never heard of Caught so I will check that one out! Thanks for the recommendation :D

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